After the second day of live televised hearings, the joke that is the January 6 Select Committee hasn’t gotten any funnier. To make matters worse for the sham committee, its chairman has drawn ire from fellow members with four shows yet to air when he prematurely spoiled the punchline.
Congressional Democrats and RINOs with a vendetta against former President Donald Trump have been unrelenting in their efforts to pin him with any crime that would stick as they seek to do lasting damage to the Republican Party. Those hopes, along with the hopes of drawing ratings with the remaining installments of their spectacle, were dashed by chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) Monday when he revealed they would not be making a criminal referral against Trump.
“No, that’s not our job,” Thompson told reporters after the conclusion of Monday’s hearing. “Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it and make recommendations after that.”
“We’re going to tell the facts,” he told them. “If the Department of Justice looks at it, and assume that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it.”
That declaration from Thompson did not sit well with others on the committee who have invested so much time in hyping up the proceeding. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) who may be risking her political future on the investigation issued a statement to contradict the chairman.
The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time.
— Rep. Liz Cheney (@RepLizCheney) June 14, 2022
“The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time,” she wrote in an obvious attempt to keep viewers tuned in.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also came out against Thompson when speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN and revealed there had been an agreement to hold off on any such announcement until after the show trial had ended.
“You know, I haven’t seen the chairman’s statements. We haven’t had a discussion about that, so I don’t know that the committee has reached a position on whether we make a referral or what the referrals might be,” Schiff said. “I thought we were deferring that decision until we concluded our investigation. At least that’s my understanding.”
Our committee has yet to vote on whether we will recommend criminal referrals to the Department of Justice. If criminal activity occurred, it is our responsibility to report that activity to the DOJ.
— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) June 14, 2022
Virginia Democrat Rep. Elaine Luria echoed her fellow committee members and posted to Twitter, “Our committee has yet to vote on whether we will recommend criminal referrals to the Department of Justice. If criminal activity occurred, it is our responsibility to report that activity to the DOJ.”
However, the committee has been reportedly cagey on handing information over to the Department of Justice as they’ve endeavored to milk the investigation as long as they can. While giving away that Trump will likely not face criminal referral from the committee, Thompson has tried to keep the investigation secret as he went on to admit that only the final report would be made public and then the DOJ will have unfettered access.
“If they want, after reviewing it, to come back and ask to talk to some of the staff or the members who helped produce the report,” Thompson said, “I’m sure they will.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland on #January6thHearings: "I am watching and I will be watching all of the hearings…and I can assure you that the January 6th prosecutors are watching all the hearings as well." pic.twitter.com/Oi4AhYvrAX
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 13, 2022
Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed to be keeping up with the hearings as best he can and that he intends to watch the entirety of the proceeding.
“I am watching, and I will be watching all the hearings, although I may not be able to watch all of it live. But I will be sure that I am watching all of it. And I can assure you that the January 6 prosecutors are watching all of the hearings as well,” he said.
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